The mining history of Cyprus is of great interest, because of the copper (cuprous) metal production, which goes back to 3.000 B.C.
Unfortunately the mining industry has been on the decline (practically non-existent) for the last three decades. The only mining activity is the Skouriotissa Copper Mine which produces copper cathodes of high purity.
There is extensive quarrying of rocks and industrial minerals in Cyprus. There are about 100 quarries which produce havara, sand and gravel, aggregates from diabase and limestone, building stone, limestone, clay and gypsum for local use and for export, as well as building stone, gypsum, bentonite, umber and ochre for export.
Quick and hydrated lime as well as portland and other types of cement and gypsum plasters are also produced locally.
Concerning the prospecting of metals a great interest is shown for copper and precious metals, especially gold. There is also great interest from foreign companies for prospecting gypsum.
Every five years the important mining and quarrying operations are obliged to submit to the Mines Service a renewed environmental study taking into consideration the new conditions of the area being exploited.
Great concern is shown for the inspection of the working conditions (health and safety) in mines and quarries and related installations. The effort is to eliminate accidents and occupational diseases. The Pneumoconiosis Medical Board examines the people working in mining and quarrying every two years. The EU Directives 92/91/EEC and 92/104/EEC concerning the safety and health in the extractive industry also came into force when Cyprus joined the EU.
The construction products, which are produced from quarry operations, are checked and follow the relative standards. The Regulation (EU) No. 305/2011 concerning this matter is now in force.
The average annual production and exports of copper and quarrying materials are shown on the following tables in metric tons:
Average Annual Production
Filling materials 250.000
Limestone for cement 2.000.000
Clay for cement 450.000
Clay for bricks and tiles 150.000
Building stone 15.000
Crude dimension stone 50.000
Average Annual Exports
Building stone 200
Cement and clinker 500.000
The average annual income from the above exports is about 35 million euro.
For further information:
Mines Service website: www.moa.gov.cy/mines
Tel.: 22 409283
Fax: 22 316872